In an in-depth Datamation survey entitled State of the Cloud 2019, companies indicated that they are more often combining multiple cloud companies into one deployment, a technique known as multicloud computing.
Multicloud strategy has gained significant traction in the last few years, driven mostly by concerns about vendor lock-in; that is, companies are concerned about being too reliant on a single vendor.
Furthermore, multicloud is attractive in terms of services that are available to developers. Multicloud allows developers to innovate rapidly by using the right services needed for their application – rather than building the app based on services offered by a single cloud provider.
Similarly, companies are drawn by multicloud because they can mix and match the varied strengths of cloud providers based on the higher order services they offer, like Big Data, AI and machine learning. The ability to right size those infrastructure resources from various providers offers enormous flexibility.
With Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud offering fierce competition to Amazon Web Services for market share, and the diversity of developer-focused services, multicloud is fast becoming an essential best practice. With other cloud providers outside of the US – like Alibaba Cloud – gaining traction, users have more choice today than a few years back.
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This increased adoption of multicloud is evident in the Datamation survey, with a majority of survey respondents using two or more cloud companies. According to the survey, 43 percentage of the respondents still use a single cloud provider, but significant percentage, 35 percent, use two cloud providers.
A small percentage of companies, 17 percent, employ three cloud providers. And today's "multicoud pioneers," 6 percent, use a remarkable four or more cloud companies.
The increase in multicloud usage is driven by:
- Diverse set of advanced, high end services offered by the various cloud providers.
- Even though all the cloud providers offer support across almost all the categories, considerable difference exists between the services in terms of feature set, pricing, and availability.
- Portability concerns push organizations to embrace multicloud strategy. With the increased adoption of containers, the portability across cloud is seamless. With Kubernetes emerging as a standard for container orchestration and with every cloud provider supporting Kubernetes, multicloud is offering the alluring promise of portability with no vendor lock-in.
Early Days for Multicloud
Multicloud adoption is still in its early stages. In the next few years, we expect most organizations to deploy a multicloud strategy. The concept of hybrid cloud – combining public cloud and private cloud – is quickly giving way to multicloud.
Among the advantages of multicloud are:
- Flexibility to innovate rapidly with the right service for developers.
- A greater opportunity to meet geographic performance and regulatory needs.
- With complex data privacy laws becoming more stringent, a multicloud strategy will help organizations stay compliant.
- Given the competitive pricing war between cloud providers, a multicloud strategy may provide cost advantages.
As organizations more fully experience the advantages of a multicloud strategy, we are going to see this trend to increase. What we see in the survey data is only a beginning of a trend toward a robust multicloud future. For decision makers, a multicloud strategy provides great helps with innovation, governance, flexibility and costs.
Survey methodology: Conducted in April, 2019, the Datamation survey was taken by 108 qualified technology professionals from a wide spectrum of industries, including financial services, retail, technology and healthcare.